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Emergency Preparedness & Infrastructure Protection Database & Online Survey


Subject Matter

The Office of Critical Infrastructure Protection and Emergency Preparedness (OCIPEP) wanted to identify all academics in post-secondary institutions in Canada that are involved in research in areas relevant to OCIPEP's mandate: infrastructure protection, emergency preparedness, and cybersecurity. This included identifying the research being undertaken in these areas. OCIPEP also required a database of these academics and their research activities, including contact information, areas of interest, publications, citations, current and past research activities, and academic affiliations, among other things.

As a second phase to this study, OCIPEP wanted to survey the academics on their perceptions about priorities for research, collaboration opportunities, and other issues related to moving research forward in Canada in the areas of infrastructure protection, emergency preparedness, and cybersecurity.

Methodology

As a first step in identifying academics, the NSERC, SSHRC and other databases were explored to determine who might be conducting research in relevant fields. A data set was constructed which included information about academics whose work seemed to fall into the fields of interest. OCIPEP also provided a seed list of academics potentially active in these areas. A second database was constructed which included contact information for departments in all post-secondary institutions in Canada that might have faculty involved in this type of research (i.e. engineering, sociology, computer science, etc.). The contact person tended to be the head of each department. In addition, a set of key informant interviews was conducted with well-placed representatives of post-secondary institutions to identify the best ways to identify and contact researchers active in these areas (i.e. faculties to focus on, best contact strategies, assistance that might be forthcoming, etc.). An email letter and information package was sent to all individuals in the two databases. The material explained the purpose of the study, defined the type of research of interest, and included a database form to enable anyone involved in relevant research to identify and provide information about themselves and their research. Through multiple email and phone contacts, a final database of relevant researchers was developed. In the final phase of this study, these academics were asked to complete an online survey on attitudinal issues and priorities for the future. The response rate was well over 50%.

 
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